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The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward - A New Approach
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The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward - A New Approach

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  395 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
On March 15, 2006, members from both parties in Congress supported the creation of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group to review the situation on the ground and propose strategies for the way forward. For more than eight months, the Study Group met with military officers, regional experts, academics, journalists, and high-level government officials from America and abroad. Par ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published December 6th 2006 by Vintage (first published 2006)
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Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
"To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people."
-President George W. Bush, Discussing the beginning of operation Iraqi freedom

January 27,2013

Okay, so...The 2003 invasion of Iraq or the Iraq War. The Operation Iraqi Freedom in which a combined force of troops from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and knocked down the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations.

Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: war-iraq
The 2006 co-chairs were James Baker and Lee Hamilton. Group members were Lawrence Eagleburger, Vernon Jordan, Edwin Meese, Sandra Day O'Connor, Leon Panetta, William Perry, Charles Robb, and Alan Simpson. They came up with an excellent report. Unfortunately, these recommendations met up with reality, a horrible world.

More and more, I admire diplomats and want little to do with revolutionaries. Just check out the rude behavior of the Bernie or Bust "revolutionaries" over the last few days. It's
Elisabeth Flynn
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Like a lot of peopple I'd heard and read about this second-hand, but when I came across a copy at my local library branch I felt compelled to check it out and better understand the situation. It's the product of a highly experience, bipartisan group of former senators, diplomats and other foreign relations experts. It is surprisingly brief and succinct, and still extremely informative (although its recommendations were made in late 2006, and sadly few of them seem to have been made concrete). A ...more
Jonathan McLeod
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-politics
The handling of the War in Iraq may always be a topic of controversy among Americans. Individual viewpoints are often affected by factors such as experience, politics, patriotism, and emotions.

If you are facilitating a discussion about the Iraq War, you may find The Iraq Study Group Report a helpful resource.

Congress appointed the Iraq Study Group (ISG) on March 15, 2006. The ISG was a ten-person bipartisan panel tasked with evaluating the state of the war in Iraq as of December 6, 2006 and then
Oct 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
By the time this report came out, its goals were already out of reach. Its ridiculous that the opinions of people like Sandra Day O'Connor and Vernon Jordan Jr. were being solicited by the President of the U.S. about Iraq. I'm sure they've really committed themselves to the study of the inner-workings of organizations like the Mahdi Army and the Islamic Army in Iraq. Even if the brain behind the report was James Baker alone, its still nearly irrelevant; Dick Cheney and his appointees set the war ...more
Alan Chen
Dec 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
I have this annoying part of my mind that nags me, saying that I should pay attention to the Big Issues, one of which is/was the Iraq War. The Iraq Study Group Report, delivered in Fall 2006, was a big thing when it came out. Like so many others, I downloaded the report online, and like so many others, the report sat on my desktop unread for months (in my defense, I was trying to get my college courses under control). Later, I was at Borders (oh, the memories!) when I saw this in print. Deciding ...more
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this years ago, and my reading of it now is colored by my experience as a quite junior Army officer serving in Mosul, Iraq in 2005 -- that being said, I think this is an interesting read, even if some of it may seemed dated. This report provides a snapshot of the challenges facing Iraq and the United States in the mid 2000s, and how we could use our domestic, international, civil, and military agencies to help improve Iraq. As I read this now in an age of ISIS/ISIL, certainly one can see ...more
Sep 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: My God, can we just write it in the sky? Would he get that?
It's worth noting that when George W. Bush narrowly won the Presidency in 2000, he said he was going to lead from the center and that his administration would be one of bipartisan approaches to the problems of government. 6 years later and two wars later, when the Iraq study group was formed, Bush's attempts at bipartisanship had long since faded into distant memory. Obviously, the group's report was long on ideas and short on reception; it was mostly ignored by the Powers That Be. The report, h ...more
Will Byrnes
This brief book-form report offers 79 recommendations for how to move forwards toward a better tomorrow in Iraq. It is notable that it makes almost no attempt to look at the errors and misjudgments of the past, let alone the lies and deliberate obfuscations. It makes me think of a theoretical scenario in which a person had been charged with murder, a commission had been set up to look at the event in question, and the commission reported only on how to keep the accused from murdering again, with ...more
Apr 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I think you should go out and buy this right now. Seriously.

Now I do my best to keep up with the news, I listen to NPR in the mornings, I read the newspapers most of the day while I'm at work. And still, I'm not always positive what the difference is between the Shia and the Sunnis (I know, I know), what which millitias stand for, etc. Not only does this have all of that, is thorough, and readable, but it also says what's plausible for getting Iraq to be a functioning country. It's worth the pri
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
An important read for all who are concerned by the events going on in Iraq. The groups recommendations to the president and Congress seem well balanced and much needed. Some of their recommendations, if implemented, could also lead to better relations between te U.S. and the entire region of Southwest Asia. I also found two surprising things in the report. First, although the report does lay out specifiic benchmarks for success in Iraq, it never seems to say that withdrawal of troops should be c ...more
Dave Clark
Apr 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It was a worthy attempt at solving the crisis in Iraq; moreover, it was written in a bi-partisan fashion that presented the most viable solution for salvaging the fiasco in Iraq. Either side of the political spectrum can find plenty of faults with the recommendations put forth by the Iraq Study Group. Nevertheless, their recommendations address the critical issues in a manner that would be politically possible within the framework of the realty of political bickering in the U.S., the intense fac ...more
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pretty clear and transparent! Still, pity for nothing more than wishful thinking. These 79 recommendations for helping these people recover from tyranny and knowing the ages old rivals will not, yet hoping they will, agree to build from the ground up, a stable government and within the impatient constraints of a stop watch - what a stupid, sad waste of good intentions.
Put together well. Brief, point to point outline. Would be a great read for any history or political science class.
Fascinating t
Mar 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
"I really liked it" doesn't really sum up what I feel here. More like, I was really frustrated that a lot of the advice for how not to alienate an entire region and how American soldiers might be "more appropriately" trained, consulted, and deployed is being thrown by the wayside. "More appropriately" in quotes of course because the whole thing is a complete travesty--I'd still be angry if we were going in "more appropriately," but the extent to which the observations and outlines and findings h ...more
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]For a main text of less than a hundred pages, aimed exclusively at policy-makers concerned with the question of What Next?, it is not bad - especially the recommendations on better US diplomacy in the region, ie Iran and Syria, and the Israel/Palestine dispute. Shame that doesn't appear to be happening.[return][return]I missed, though, any serious analysis of how the greatest military machine the world has ever known, run by the most powerful ...more
Jul 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
A good summary of events leading up to 9/11. However their other analysis were a bit off. First, their predictions of a all out failed state in Iraq have failed to materialize despite their warnings. Second, the Department of National Intelligence was a re-inventing of the wheel that will only exacerbate the problem next time creating that many more bureaucratic channels for information to travel through before reaching those who actually need it.

Let me guess, after the next major terrorist atta
Ali Al-Birminghami
May 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: iraq
The report assesses the current situation in Iraq (political, economic, civil infrastrucure, security) and then offers 79 recommendations, notably the need to engage with Syria and Iran, and the 'surge' tactic.

Definately worth contrasting current efforts in Iraq with the report's recommendations (pubished in Dec 2006). Also interesting to note that 4 out of the 5 on the committee have a backround in Law.
Oct 14, 2007 rated it liked it
Current as of Dec 2006. The book gives assessment and 79 recommendations by the bipartisan study group.
The new approach consists of: A. The External Approach: Building an International Consensus, and B. The Internal Approach: Helping Iraqis Help Themselves.
I liked how the report outlined the direct and indirect involvement and interests of the neighboring states; sectarian violence; key Iraqi power players; and Maliki's suggested "milestones".
May 01, 2008 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
Read this the month after I got back from Iraq. I liked alot of the proposals at the time, although most weren't followed. It felt good to see that some of the operations that I was involved in were mentioned in the report. It was also nice that the lack of success we had in those operations was also accurately reported.
Jun 13, 2008 rated it liked it
The best advice to most recently be entirely ignored by the President and the top brass at the Pentagon. Kudos for the courage of the report's bipartisan authors and their attempt, unsuccessful, to right the sinking ship.
Apr 06, 2008 rated it liked it
A lot of money and time was spent to determine what we already know i.e. that the situation in Iraq is a miserable mess unless and until the ethnic and tribal groups within the country learn to live with one another without resorting to violence to solve problems. There's nothing new here.
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Dated more than I expected. By comparison the 9/11 commission report seems built to stand the test of time. This report is merely a snapshot, and not a detailed one at that. I think even history scholars would find limited appeal in this. Disappointing.
Apr 14, 2010 rated it liked it
I kept hearing about on the news so I ordered it. I was surprised at how brief it was. I am hoping that the recommendations in this report get reviewed periodically. It was good to know about the reccommednations first hadnd.
Apr 20, 2007 marked it as to-read
People should review the Expert Working Groups section. It is interesting to see so many contributions from PFC Energy, Citigroup, Bechtel Corp, RAND corp., and The Brookings Institute. Why are these corporations making suggestions on what our government policy should be toward Iraq?
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was an interesting book. It was interesting in the way they presented the recommendations to the Bush Administration. What else I found interesting was the comparison I made on which recommendations were followed and which were not.
Jun 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Another must read for folks who want to understand what was happening on the ground in Iraq, what factors contributed to the situation there and the complications of a 'power vacuum' in the region, and what needs to be done moving forward.
Jun 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
I'm a little ashamed of myself that I haven't read this until now. The report doesn't give much analysis of the U.S.'s motives for going into Iraq in the first place, but it provides interesting insight into the players involved in the current conflict and into the thinking of U.S. policy-makers.
Jul 17, 2008 rated it liked it
A demonstration of the ability for real foreign policy thinkers in our society to actual come up with answers and look beyond partisanship to meet a common goal. Inspiring in its purpose and informative in its content.
Aug 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Getting war information straight from the experts are just plain awesome; however, being bombarded with military strategies and "rants" all together... is annoying at some point? But great read, this book.
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Interesting. Gives you (somewhat) an idea of how-and-why we're still in the mess we're in over there. Overall though not much from a historical perspective of this timeframe (2005-2007 Iraq/US relations).
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